After filing suit in federal court, 10 older or disabled New York City tenants will be getting thousands of dollars following their expulsion from the Rent Freeze Program when their parents or spouses died, the New York Times reported. The program includes the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) Program and the Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE). It helps eligible tenants stay in their homes by essentially freezing their rent. The tenant pays the same amount and the city uses tax credits to cover the difference.
That sounds great, and recent changes to the law authorizing the program actually make it easier for people to remain eligible for it, but it reduced the time allowed for re-application following the death of the head of the household from six months to 60 days and these people didn’t make it.
Between $5,000 and $6,000 each will go to the plaintiffs, aged between 27 and 95, and $75,000 will go to Legal Services NYC, a non-profit that worked on the case. The suit was filed in conjunction with Public Advocate Letitia James. Since its filing, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a new change in the law, extending the re-application period to six months.
• Rent Freeze Program [Official]
• Complaint Against the City [Official-PDF]